Read my Lightworks review with video samples if you want to know everything about this free video editing software. What are its main advantages among other video editing softwares and can Lightworks compete with such giants as Premiere Pro and Vegas Pro?
Lightworks is a professional video editing program that is popular among beginning videographers and filmmakers. With the help of this free video editing software you can make quick video footage editing for YouTube, video montage and publish videos on the web in several clicks.
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS and Linux
This video editing software is very popular among YouTube bloggers, Instagram vloggers and social network users who need to edit their videos fast and publish them for gaining many likes and followers. Lightworks free version meets all these requirements very well. However, novice video editors need some practice to get used to this program. Read my Lightworks review to understand the most important features of this video software.
Lightworks video editor is available in two versions, Lightworks Free and the full-featured Lightworks Pro program. The main feature of the free version is limited export. The only way to save the video here is its publication on YouTube with a maximum resolution of 720p. In addition, the free release does not support visualization on the timeline and makes it impossible to manually select folders to store project files.
In turn, Lightworks Pro doesn’t have such restrictions and offers three tariff plans for small and medium businesses. The price of licensed versions varies depending on the number of systems on which you want to activate the software.
You will not be able to start work immediately after installing the program. You will need to create an account. When you open Lightworks for the first time, there will appear a window for new user registration on the screen. Be sure to enter your data. After these manipulations, the software will be ready for work.
Lightworks is great for both complex video editing and simple tasks and has all the necessary tools for it. To start working with a video editor, enter a name for the new project in the Name field, specify the frame rate of the movie you are going to edit in the Framerate line. If all the clips that you will use have the same frame rate per second, apply default (Auto) parameters for them.
Use Bin for Batch Video Editing
Lightworks is good free video editing software, focused on final video processing and work with large projects. In this regard, it has several tools that simplify the structuring of the working material. Dozens or even hundreds of video clips may be involved in film creating. To organize them, it is worth grouping clips by some signs, for example, relation to a particular episode. Bin is an important element of Lightworks toolkit. When working with a specific group of videos, you can create a Bin window and place important clips into it.
Another important feature of its interface is the possibility to create multiple workspaces within a single project. Each workspace is called a room. This feature can be compared with virtual desktops in the operating system. When working on large projects, such rooms provide an opportunity to divide the video editing process into separate stages. Each room has its own set of open windows and the layout of the Lightworks interface elements. At the beginning of your work, the program creates the first room (Room #1) automatically. To create a new room, open Room #1 list in the upper left part of the video editor window and click on the “New room” button.
The timeline principle in Lightwork is used to work with tracks. However, it is worth noting that it has a number of peculiarities. The main timeline is the Edit window, which has a combination of two windows with audio and video tracks used for editing a video and a preview window.
To open the workspace for video editing (Timeline), click on the “Create a new edit” button on the vertical program panel. By default, one video and two audio tracks (right and left channel) can be created here.
In addition to the main timeline in the “Edit” window, each imported clip can also be edited using the timeline in the viewer. To display tracks with audio and video, open the viewer by double-clicking on a clip in the list of imported data, and click on the “Show Timeline” button.
Easy Clip Managing
You can move a clip to one of the tracks in Lightwork software by dragging the necessary sketch imported into the project from the Clips window. Place the clip on the track and hover over it. Note that the pointer will change its shape depending on its location.
Open and closed clip brackets mean that the pointer has moved to the clip trimming mode.
Additional double arrow, an open bracket added to the cursor from the left edge of the clip, the arrow of the cursor complemented by a closed bracket in the right part of the clip. When the cursor is in the middle, you can move the video to timeline or transfer it to another free track.
Fast Video Backup
If the project is very complex, it is likely that video processing will be done on several PCs at once. In this case, it is necessary to transfer the work performed from one workstation to another.
Lightwork software has an incredibly convenient option to create a backup copy. You can export all the data used in the current project (audio, video, and graphics) to a single folder with its help. To create a data archive, right-click on the window with media files used in the project and select the Bin Commands section in the context menu. Then open Export and Backup sections, select Lightworks archive option here.
Export Video Without Lags
As mentioned at the beginning of this Lightworks video editor review, the export capabilities of the free version are limited to a format suitable for publishing videos on YouTube. However, you can upload the processed movie to the server of the popular video hosting directly from the video editor. You need to provide the username and password of a YouTube user account. It is also possible to specify tags to identify the clip by the search engine.
Lightworks video editor has a good set of the most popular effects, including image editing filters, layer blending tools, and transition effects. To apply an effect, click on Effects button in the Edit window, then select the desired tool and click Add button. All effects are divided into two groups – audio and video. In addition, they are grouped by category to make it easier to search for a particular tool.
Deep Color Grading
The Color video effects group of Lightwork editing software includes filters for image color correction. You can change the color tone, adjust the balance of shades, convert color video to monochrome, and correct the brightness and contrast of the frame with their help.
Stylize Videos in Several Clicks
The next useful feature is the Stylize group of effects. It comes in handy when you need simple post-processing filters. You can find tools for sharpening (Sharpen and Sharpen Edges), blur filters (Blur and Radial Blur), Glow to add a glow effect, as well as a tool for tracing the color palette (Pasterize).
Artistic Vignette & Crop
The Vignette & Crop categories include tools necessary to create color vignette video. The vignetting effect available in Lightworks Pro program can be used to crop an image with a black color field.
Keying for Creative Video Montage
The Keying category contains tools for adjusting transparency effects. It includes two main filters for adjusting the transparency using blue (Bluescreen) and green (Greenscreen) colors, as well as a keying tool for brightness (Lumakey). In addition, this Lightworks category has a tool for image importing with a transparency channel (Image Key).
Presets for Beginners
These are standard effects with pre-configured parameters. For example, when you need to select a special range of shades to imitate an old film that has lost color saturation over time, it is enough to apply the Old Time Movie effect from the Color (Presets) category.
For artistic video editing, use transition effects to make a professional video footage as a results having edited various video clips.
Multiple Transition Effects
Lightworks has several of the most popular algorithms for replacing one video with another. Blend is a transition where two clips are overlapping using one of the selected algorithms. Dissolve is a blending mechanism. Luma Wipe is a smooth color mask substitution. Masked Blend is a mask blending. Push is a transition effect when a frame “push” another one. Squeeze is a compression of the original video frame and stretching of another one. Wipe is a clip change on the billboard principle.
Place Titles Everywhere You Need
Lightworks tools for creating titles are presented as separate effects categories that are located in the Titles and Lower Thirds groups. You can find three main titles types here, such as creeping line, teleprompter and static text.
Use Lower Thirds for Placing Titles
In addition to the tools described earlier in this Lightworks review, you can also use convenient presets from the Lower Thirds group. According to television standards, the titles of this type are placed in the lower third part of the screen, which is considered a safe zone for displaying textual information.
You will find templates for adding animated titles in this area of the screen in the Lower Thirds group. You can work with different types of effects in the same way as with ordinary clips. You may control their position on the timeline, change their duration, etc. To show the visual presentation of effects on the Timeline, right-click on the clip and select Unfold in the context menu. The effect applied to the video will be displayed on a separate track named Fx1.
Many Lightworks Pro effects can be animated. There is a special Keyframes section for managing animation keyframes at the bottom of the effect’s settings window. The initial and final values of the parameters to be animated are set in the keyframes of the animation. The bar indicates the duration of the clip to which the effect was applied. To create an animation, you need to add at least two keyframes. Animation keys are displayed as markers that can be moved to the Keyframes field, customizing the effect animation.
When editing a movie, it is often necessary to change the position of the audio track relatively to the video. If you need to adjust the position of the audio track, turn off the video track to which it is attached by clicking on its name, and move the audio clip to the desired position.
Waveform for Clear Sound
To increase the performance of Lightworks, some options, which help visually assess the volume level in a particular fragment of the video sequence are disabled by default. The Waveform is one of such options. It is a graph of the amplitude of the audio signal that is generated by the program along the entire audio track.
The Waveform can be displayed for both the original audio and the edited audio track.
To enable waveform display, open Show Audio Waveforms menu in the Timeline Commands section and select Pre-Levels (if you want to control the waveform before audio processing) and Post Levels (if you want to monitor the audio level after volume correction).
Operating system: Mac 10.9 or higher, Windows Vista or higher, Linux Supported Debian Distros, Linux Supported RPM Distros
Processor: Fast AMD chipset, Intel i7 chipset and faster
RAM: 3GB RAM and higher
Hard drive space: 200MB Disk space for installation
Sound card: Compatible sound card
Optional: Two high-resolution monitors (1920 x1080) or more
Lightworks is not too demanding to computer characteristics if we talk about simple video editing or adding basic effects. If you are going to work at a professional level, your PC must meet the requirements specified above.
You should install QuickTime to work with a video editor. The program will warn you about this during the installation.
Plug-ins make the working process more convenient, expanding the program functions or even adding a part of other softwares. There plug-ins can be used even on free video editing programs and Lightworks video editor is no exception.
This set offers a wide range of filters where the FEC and BCC range exceeds 220. It helps improve the synchronization between audio and video details to ensure the high quality of content.
Graffiti allows Lightworks users to import their scalable vector images directly onto the video editing platform. They can manage video editing projects in three-dimensional space by making slight changes with advanced controls.
Sapphire is the most important editing tool thanks to its advanced customization options. There are three new effects that can attract your attention, Romantile, Brush, and Luna. Romantile is a kind of mosaic effect that helps blur things with a blocky look. Brush simplifies the task through various form settings. Users get accurate sponge, pencil and watercolor settings using this tool. Luna can help you create the Moon and adjust its rotation, size, roughness and Moon phase. It also allows you to select the colors of the sky, Halo, Glow, as well as update the details of the atmosphere.
This set contains many tools for creating really impressive effects. The 3D opportunities of Blackmagic Fusion allow you to work with volumetric effects, live-action cameras, lights, etc.
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